FYI Ottawa

Sens GM Deserves Own Raise
GM does admirable job of handling players' salary demands.

Wait On For Wade
Wade Reddenís salary situation is in the hands of a woman.

No Deal for Sens' Redden
Wade Redden is heading for arbitration hearing on Monday.

Senator to Take Shot at Olympics
Shawn McEachern to get a shot at making the US Olympic Team.

Sens, Alfie dance around deal
The Senators have hit rough water in their talks with Daniel Alfredsson.

Engaging Deal for Sen
Chris Phillips signed a contract with the Senators yesterday.

Hurme Holds His Head High
Hurme, Lalime leave Sens solid in net heading into camp.

Senators Trio on Hold
Daniel Alfredsson, Marian Hossa and Zdeno Chara working on new deals.

Sens Suddenly a Hot Ticket
Like the weather, the Senators have suddenly become a hot ticket.

Redden in Tough on Blue Line
Wade Redden gets chance to challenge for a gold medal.

It's Heart Failure
The Leafs simply had more heart, Sens players admit after four-game sweep.

Sens All But Dead
Leafs snatch away victory after Ottawa battles back in Game 3.

Senators in dire straits
A brave face doesn't make up for being down 2-0 in series.

Not a Good Friday
Players in state of shock after Game 1 loss to Leafs.

Spezza Stumps Junior Nats
Jilts Jr. national team to train for Senators' camp.

Camp An Eye Opener for Future Senator
After basic training, Sensí top prospects go their separate ways.

Orr thinks Spezza can deliver
Bobby Orr knows what it takes to be a top player in the NHL.

Happy Campers at Rookie Session
There was electricity in the air as Jason Spezza stepped on the ice.

Jason Spezza Q and A
HE'S a big kid with man-sized aspirations.

Great Expectations for Spezza
Jason Spezza is the real deal.

Spezza Plans on Staying
Determined to make first impression with the Sens a lasting one.

Spezza Brings 'Mario-Like' Qualities
The Senators could wind up a big winner after the NHL draft.

Still In The Game
GM says salary not the only factor in building a contender.

Neil Still Fighting for Job
Chris Neil might have his best chance to make the Sens this fall.

Sens shopping for bargains
Take a look at what's available this summer.

Leafs To Pay Pre-Season Visit
Maple Leafs fans get bonus in September at the Corel Centre.

Sens can't afford ticket disaster
Expect some big changes to keep ticket holders happy.

Fans Ready to Forgive
Senators fans are still true to their team.

Martin a Keeper, Pool Shows
Hang on tight to Jacques Martin, the fans say.

Final exam pulls down class grades
Now, it's time to pick over the body.

Senators 2001-02 Schedule

Sens' Regular Season Stats

Sens' Playoff Statistics

Bars & Clubs | Brides 2001 | Books and CDs
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Jason Spezza Q and A

HE'S a big kid with man-sized aspirations. And the expectations to match.

The Jason Spezza era officially began yesterday in Ottawa, with a scene that is sure to be played out over and over again in the weeks and months to come.
Surrounded by microphones and cameras, the young man at the centre of last month's Alexei Yashin trade displays both teenage enthusiasm and a veteran's poise as he thoughtfully answers questions.
But then again, Spezza is no neophyte at such things. Since before his 16th birthday, he's been talked about as the big prize in the 2001 NHL Entry Draft. A prize that the Senators landed in the Yashin deal.
Now, however, the draft-day suit and tie are gone, replaced by practice jerseys and the sweat of rookie camp.
Not to mention a Spezza nameplate above a locker stall in the Senators dressing room at the Corel Centre.
Whether it stays there in September is up to Spezza, a remarkably gifted 18-year-old who stands tall in more ways than one at this rookie camp.
After the media horde departed, Spezza sat down for an exclusive one-on-one chat with the Sun about a life that's been filled with hockey dreams and boundless promise.

Q. How do you feel about being the Senators' new poster boy?
A. (Laughs) It's nothing new for me. You kind of get used to it. I don't really worry about it. I know it comes along with the game and it's part of the territory. I just have to stay focused and keep working.

Q. What was it like walking into an NHL dressing room for real for the first time?
A. It's not Windsor Arena! (laughs) It's a little bigger, but it's something I expected and it's great. Obviously, it's an honour just to be here but you have to look past that. You look at all the great players that have done it. Guys like Marty Havlat have looked past it and they've succeeded.

Q. You've played hockey all your life. How long have you dreamed of this day?
A. Ever since I watched my first hockey game, I fell in love with the game. I was a Leaf and Red Wings fan. I liked Steve Yzerman. Mario Lemieux is my favourite player, but Steve Yzerman was someone I always liked, so I liked the Red Wings. But the Leafs were always my favourite team -- although that's changed (laughs).

Q. What is it that you like about Mario?
A. Just the way he plays, I think it speaks for itself. He's fought through so much adversity, and he's so smooth and composed -- guys take runs at him and he doesn't really take the stupid penalty. He knows how to really play within his limits.

Q. Is he the kind of guy you would pattern yourself after?
A. I don't think you pattern yourself after one particular player. You look at all the great players in the game today, and you try and take little bits from them. Mario is someone you can take so much from -- if you can do what he does, that's pretty good. Also, guys like Yashin that are big, rangy centremen. Those guys are great hockey players. And (Mike) Modano and (Jason) Allison ... you can take every little bit from one of them.

Q. There are people who are going to look at the trade that was made, and say you have to replace Alexei Yashin. Is that fair?
A. Alexei Yashin is a great hockey player and he puts up some huge numbers. You can't compare yourself to someone who's already established in the league. I know that I have to work hard, but I'm not going to put extra pressure on myself because I was traded for such a great player.

Q. You weren't in Ottawa the day you were drafted, but there was a general feeling that everybody was happy. That we've got this Jason Spezza coming here and everyone was excited. How does that make you feel to know the fans are excited to come and see you play?
A. It's great, it's very reassuring that they're happy with the deal. I have a lot of people to prove wrong. My goal was to go first overall and that didn't happen. I'm just happy I got the chance to go to Ottawa and I'm going to make the most of it. I have a lot of hard work ahead of me.

Q. You've been in the spotlight since you were 16 years old. What's it been like having every little bit of your game picked apart by people for so long?
A. You get used to it. You just don't worry about it. I just go out and play my game ... I know what I have to improve on and what I have to work on. You can't really listen to what the media says and what other people say.

Q. You've got an agent (Bobby Orr) who's obviously been down this road before. Does he give you advice about what's coming?
A. Obviously, he helps out. He's been through it and he can guide me along. But a lot of it has to be done yourself and he tells me that. You have to be able to sacrifice your body in the summer and work as hard as you can. It's the only way you can make it.

Q. What's it like to have a legend like Bobby Orr as an agent?
A. I don't think I have a true feeling for how great he is. I have so much respect for him. I watch him on tapes and it's just ridiculous how good he was compared to the guys he was playing against. He's a great guy and you don't even know it's Bobby Orr, the way he talks to you.

Q. Any thoughts about what number you'd like to wear in Ottawa?
A. I've worn No. 9 all my life, but Martin Havlat already has that. It doesn't mean anything. I had to change to 18 at the end of last season after I went to Windsor. It doesn't matter. It's the player who makes the number. That's something I've always firmly believed.

July 6, 2001

by Rob Brodie
Ottawa Sun


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